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Reviving the TR-909 & TB-303

Roland have announced the all new Aira range and as everyone expected there is a shout back to some of the original Roland synths and drum machines that helped to shape dance music culture for over 20 years.

Due to a well-executed teaser campaign rumour, gossip and speculation was rife! The demand was there for a return of the little silver box of acid dreams, the house classic TR-909 and hip hop defining TR-808. That is what the world wanted and that is what the world got…

The all new Aira range consists of four products, namely the TR-8 drum machine which models both the legendary TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines in one unit, the TB-3 which models Roland’s famous silver box the TB-303 – now equipped with a snazzy touch screen, the VT-3 vocal transformer which is based on the lesser known VT-1 and the piece-de-resistance the System-1 synthesiser that bears more than a little resemblance to the SH-101, many sounds that have been heard and used on countless tracks over the last two decades.

To make sure that the sound that is achieved from the new versions of these classic synths are as authentic as possible Roland are using a technology that they call Analogue Circuit Behaviour which takes every circuit and component from the original synthesiser and model their behaviours individually.

The TB-3 was developed with the assistance of the original TB-303 designers along with the original circuit diagrams as well as using original TB-303 units to produce the ACB modelling which means that the sounds the TB-3 produces are exactly the same as the TB-303 thanks to identical waveforms along with the same characteristics and the exact same filter performance. The ACB process takes every tiny detail of the original synthesiser and takes it into the digital domain to give stunningly accurate sound reproduction along with a host of fancy new features made possible by using digital technology.

While the TR-3 and TR-8 are likely to be the first to draw crowds of drooling DJs and synthesiser fetishists for obvious reasons, the most tech savvy of the hardcore knob-twiddlers will be heading straight to towards the System-1 synthesiser drawn by the smell of the fresh new “Plug-Out” technology hidden deep inside the circuitry.

The System-1 has a rather awesome sound engine and can be used as a controller for various VST plug-in versions of Roland's classic synthesiser collection, which will be released over the coming months (with the SH-101 being the first one off the production line). Each of the machines in the Aira range are must have items so we advise DJs and Producers to get their hands on these machines as soon as they can.

Roland are making a play on the fact that they envisage these new versions of their most sort after classics being used by DJs as well as producers, expect to see a lot more of the Aira’s in DJ booths and Stages all over the world